Insurance is a data driven world of actuarial analysis. Insurance carriers rate drivers and price coverage based on past driving performance, credit score (which is highly correlated to, but obviously not causal of, driving behavior), and increasingly Usage Based Insurance (UBI). Insurance carriers also factor in annual mileage, where the vehicle is garaged and driven, and the type and value of the vehicle. Modest increases in data and analysis can provide one insurance company with an important advantage over its competitors. Now a new opportunity (and challenge) awaits the insurance industry. Crash Avoidance (CA) technologies such as electronic stability control, lane departure avoidance, and forward collision avoidance are poised to revolutionize auto safety. These crash avoidance technologies are fast becoming widely available and are aimed at reducing the approximately six million annual vehicle crashes on U.S. roads. Each auto manufacturer is developing its own versions of CA technologies, with different capabilities and likely different degrees of efficacy. This means that different makes and models of vehicles with different CA technologies, and different generations of the technologies, will perform differently. Soon, knowing about the driver’s driving behavior will be insufficient for insurance companies. It will be vital to know what type and generation of CA technology is on the driver’s vehicle and how that technology performs in various driving environments. It will be many decades before the entire U.S. vehicle fleet is equipped with CA technologies of one generation or another. And even longer before most of the fleet is fully automated. This interim period provides an opportunity for insurers to move beyond just understanding drivers to also better understanding vehicles and their CA effectiveness.
Gage, Thomas; Bishop, Richard; Morris, Jonathan.
The Increasing Importance of Vehicle Based Risk Assessment for the Vehicle Insurance Industry.
Minnesota Journal of Law, Science & Technology.
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